BABYLON VILLAGE

'The Little Mermaid' is a fun, musical fantasy

Ariel resurfaces in Babylon Village at the Argyle Theatre

Monica Musetti-Carlin
Posted 1/30/20

The Argyle Theater in Babylon is staging a delightfully playful and brilliant production of the Broadway hit, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” 

My inner princess …

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BABYLON VILLAGE

'The Little Mermaid' is a fun, musical fantasy

Ariel resurfaces in Babylon Village at the Argyle Theatre

Posted

The Argyle Theater in Babylon is staging a delightfully playful and brilliant production of the Broadway hit, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” 

My inner princess couldn’t wait to see how they would manage to have an undersea adventure on dry land ... but first I had to find a friend with a child to go see the play with. Having had a son and not a daughter, this particular Disney movie wasn’t one we’d watched over 100 times. I knew the story generally but never had actually seen the entire thing, so with my friend and her 10-year-old granddaughter, Mia, I anxiously awaited the Disney magic to sail me away to another land where Ariel (Kimberly Immanuel) sings her hauntingly beautiful songs, attracting the debonair Prince Eric as she longs to live in the world above.
Bright turquoises, pinks, reflective crystals and sparkles set the stage, evoking a truly tropical mood. The costuming wasn’t in-your-face “I’m a bird, I’m a fish.” It was more conceptual, with incredibly creative details and fabulous headpieces.

The familiar songs we all love from the movie were on point. “Part of Your World,” sung by Immanuel, who did have the voice of an otherworldly angel, and “Under the Sea” with its Caribbean beat, had the audience hanging on every lyric, hoping with Ariel and hopping to the beats. Jeff Sullivan, who played Prince Eric, was an absolute dreamboat and very easy to fall in love with, looking every bit of what one would imagine a prince should look and sound like.

When the overpowering villain Ursula (Courtney Balan) took the stage, everyone took notice: great voice, great presence. When I asked my young theater companion Mia who her favorite character was, she chose Ursula, saying, “She came on very powerful.” Everything about her was big: her booming voice, her enormous octopus costume and big hair.

Mia’s and one of my favorite scenes was the boat scene with Prince Eric and Ariel being constantly interrupted while trying to declare their love. The song “Kiss the Girl” was hysterical. The Palace Banquet Hall featuring Chef Louis (Stephen Foster Harris) and staff singing “Les Poissons” was hilarious, with plates and puns flying.

In just its second season, Argyle has captured the attention of theatergoers. When speaking to executive producers Mark and Dylan Perlman and artistic director Evan Pappas it’s evident a lot of thought goes into choosing each show. 

Mark Perlman emphasized, ‘“The Little Mermaid’ is family entertainment. Our matinees will be filled with parents, grandparents and children.” 

“This production appeals both to adults who remember loving the movie as a child and who are now sharing it with their children,”  said Pappas.

Who likely are still watching the Disney movie at home for the 100th time.

I have to wholeheartedly agree with Pappas. This production is as appealing to an adult as it is to a child. So, not to worry, you can have a date night and go see it. “Just you and me, simple and free ... heart of my heart.” Aren’t we all hoping to live happily ever after as Ariel and Prince Eric did, successfully uniting their two very different worlds. 

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